The Body of God: An Ecological Theology

The Body of God: An Ecological Theology

The Body of God: An Ecological Theology

The Body of God: An Ecological Theology

Synopsis

A very distinctive and important new option for Christian theology. McFague proposes in a clear and challenging way a theological program based on what she calls 'the organic model' for conceiving God.

Excerpt

“The world is our meeting place with God … as the body of God, it is wondrously, awesomely, divinely mysterious.” These are some closing words from my book Models of God, a book that dealt principally with immanental models—God as mother, lover, and friend of the world. My focus was a conscious one, meant to balance the heavy transcendence of the Christian doctrine of God. Yet I end the book aware that what is needed is not only immanental models of God, but a way of thinking of God’s transcendence in an immanental way—that “the world is our meeting place with God.”

The present essay, The Body of God: An Ecological Theology, is about that way of thinking. In one sense, it is a highly focused, limited project: it attempts to look at everything through one lens, the model of the universe or world as God’s body. The ancient organic model, reinterpreted by both contemporary science and Christian incarnationalism, is a perspective from which to consider major theological issues: creation, sin and evil, christology, the transcendence and immanence of God, human existence, the natural world, eschatology, the church. Using the lens this model provides, we ask what we see and what we can say about various dimensions of the relationship of God and the world. The model of the universe as God’s body does not see nor does it allow us to say everything. It focuses on embodiment, inviting us to do something that Christians have seldom done: think about God and bodies. What would it mean, for instance, to understand sin as the refusal to share the basic necessities of survival with other bodies? to see Jesus of Nazareth as paradigmatic of God’s love for . . .

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